Jorge Ramos is our kind of guy. The Univision anchor is on his way to the airport in Caracas this morning after being detained yesterday for infuriating Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro by showing him a video of young Venezuelans eating from a garbage truck.
After Trump's State Department weighed in, Ramos and five others were released from the Miraflores Palace and sent back to their hotel. They were ordered to be at Simón Bolívar International Airport this morning and are set to take a midday flight back to Miami.
Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodriguez said the government had in the past welcomed hundreds of journalists to the Miraflores presidential palace, but it did not support "cheap shows" put on with the help of the U.S. State Department.
What neither Rodriguez nor the State Department said was that in August 2015, Ramos confronted Trump at a campaign event in Iowa, where he said the future president was presenting an immigration plan "full of empty promises." That plan called for deporting undocumented aliens and an end to birthright citizenship.
Of course, Trump has failed to pass that plan, as Americans and Congress have risen up against his proposed treatment of immigrants and their children.
Maduro's spokesperson claims the Jorge Ramos incident was a 'set up' by the US State Department to justify their actions against Venezuela. I wonder if they know that Trump literally had Jorge thrown out of a press conference in the US when he asked questions Trump didn't like..— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) February 26, 2019
A security officer escorted Ramos out of the event, and Trump called Ramos — in an extremely offensive stereotype — a "very emotional person."
Even before that encounter, Trump had banned Univision employees from his golf club in Doral. He sent Univision CEO Randy Falco a letter stating that “under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami — its golf courses or any of its facilities.” The station had declined to air the Miss USA pageant after Trump made what Univision called "insulting" comments about Mexican immigrants.
In yesterday's incident, Ramos and five others had gone to the presidential palace to interview Maduro as part of the campaign by the embattled Venezuelan president to fight sanctions and the U.S. freezing of assets of his country's state-owned oil company, PDVSA.
Ramos and his crew showed the video of kids eating from a garbage truck to Maduro, who walked out. The team was held for several tense hours in the palace. During that time, Kimberly Breier, an assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, insisted on Ramos' release.
Subsecretaria Breier: El Departamento de Estado ha recibido notificación de que el periodista @jorgeramosnews y su equipo están detenidos contra su voluntad en el palacio de Miraflores por Nicolás Maduro. Insistimos en su liberación inmediata; el mundo esta mirando. #Venezuela https://t.co/d5jDmjzjnP— USA en Español (@USAenEspanol) February 26, 2019
Ramos and his crew were then moved to a hotel, which they said was surrounded by armed guards. They were told to be at Bolivar airport at 8 this morning for a midday flight back home.
Ramos posted this video describing what happened with Maduro.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.